GDB 11.0: OVIE ON FIRE

Jason Gregor
October 24 2013 12:56PM

Alex Ovechkin is my favourite player to watch in the NHL. I loved his "hot stick" celebration after he scored 50 goals for the 3rd time in his career, and right now he's scoring goals more frequently than everyone, including Steven Stamkos.

Ovechkin has 9 goals in 9 games this season, and 31 in his last 30 games dating back to last year. After scoring 32 goals in 2011 and 38 in 2012, many wrote Ovechkin had lost his offensive flair and had become too predictable.

Adam Oates became the coach of the Capitals and he convinced Ovechkin he could be more productive on the right wing, after playing the previous seven NHL seasons on the left side.

Oates moved Ovechkin to the right wing last year, and after some early struggles and adjustments, Ovechkin has returned to his elite scoring ways.

If you think 30 games is too short of a sample size to illustrate Ovechkin's dominant goal scoring ability, here's some more proof.

Since entering the NHL in 2005/2006 Ovechkin has scored 380 goals. The next closest is Ilya Kovalchuk with 309. Jarome Iginla and Dany Heatley are tied for 3rd most with 280 goals. In the previous eight seasons Ovechkin has scored 100 more goals than every player, except one.

What about Steven Stamkos you ask?

Stamkos is also an elite goal scorer, and since he entered the league, 2008/2009, he and Ovechkin are equally dangerous.Ovechkin has outscored him 217-213, and that four goal lead is due to a 9-5 Ovechkin advantage this season.

To be fair, if you exclude Stamkos' rookie season he has outscored Ovechkin the past four seasons. They are clearly the elite goal scorers in the game.

Iif you were one who wrote off Ovechkin, many of you scoffed at me when I said the Oilers should trade for him last February, you might want to reconsider your stance.

OVIE VS. YAKUPOV

Yakupov isn't going to be like Ovechkin, mainly because he isn't 6'3" and 230 pounds, but he has the potential to be a dangerous scorer like him.

It is interesting to note that Oates convinced Ovechkin to switch wings last season and go from his off-wing to the right side.Dallas Eakins has moved Yakupov from his off-wing to his natural left-side and he's hoping for the same results.

Keep in mind it took Ovechkin, a proven NHL scorer, 20 games to adjust to the new wing. The Oilers and Yakupov will need to be patient as he learns to play the left side.

Ovechkin admitted that he wanted to switch back to the left side early last year, but Oates convinced him to stick with it. Today, Ovechkin says he feels more comfortable on the right side than he ever did on the left. 

LINEUP

Marc Arcobello continues to shine. He is only the 3rd rookie in the past 20 years to score ten points in the first ten games of his rookie season. Sidney Crosby had 12 points in 2005, while Patrick Kane had ten. Arcobello has ten assists, and while he did play one game last season, this is considered his rookie year.

He's off to a great start. I don't expect him to produce like Kane or Crosby for the rest of the season, but if he continues to play the way he has, in both ends of the rink, he will be a constant contributor in the lineup.

Yakupov-RNH-Eberle
Perron-Arcobello-Hemsky
Jones-Gordon-Pitlick
Gazdic-Acton-Eager

Smid-Petry
Belov-J.Schultz
Ference-N.Schultz

Dubnyk

The Capitals have a big skilled group of forwards:

Johansson-Backstrom-Ovechkin
Erat-Laich-Brouwer
Chimera-Grabovski-Ward
Volpatti-Fehr-Wilson

Alzner-Carlson
Schmidt-Green
Erskine-Oleksy

Holtby

Smid and Petry will see a lot of Ovechkin tonight. "He is very difficult to contain. He's big, strong and one of the few skilled guys who likes to play physical," said Petry.

QUICK HITS

  • The Oilers should be able to generate a lot of chances tonight. The Capitals have allowed 34.3 shots/game (26th most) thus far, but the Capitals are also 10th in shots for, 31.4/game. Adam Oates stated he wants his team to be better defensively, but so far that hasn't happened.
     
  • Ovechkin has 5-3-8 in six games vs. the Oilers. His best game against the Oilers came on December 19th, 2009. Ovechkin potted two goals and an assist in the third period of a 4-2 comeback victory for the Capitals.
     
  • What makes Ovechkin such dangerous as a scorer is his ability to get off a hard shot from anywhere around his body. If a pass is behind him, in front of him, in his skates or close to his body, he is able to adjust his body positioning to get a shot off with velocity. His release point can change from shot to shot.
     
  • Devan Dubnyk has never faced Ovechkin. Tonight is his first chance to try and shut down one of the game's best snipers. He jokingly said he was excited and nervous at the same time.
     
  • Dubnyk told me the one adjustment he made after the first four games is that he is now coming out to the top of the crease to get set. If he does sink back, he is still out of his net more than he was in the first four games.

LOOKING AHEAD...

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers pick up their third straight win with a 4-2 victory.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Former Oiler Jason Chimera scores.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: After scoring only two goals in the first nine games, the Oilers blueline continues their recent hot-streak with two more. Petry and Smid scored in Montreal, and tonight Anton Belov gets his first NHL goal and Petry pots his 3rd of the season.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 I tried it at home
October 24 2013, 01:02PM
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Well Im fairly sure Yak and Belov will be fired up to play Ovechkin. Hopefully they dont stand there gazing at him in awe. Heres hoping the Russkies on our team have a great night, and thiers DO NOT

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#2 Biscuite
October 24 2013, 01:07PM
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Remember when you balked at trading the #1 overall pick for Subban?

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#3 Spydyr
October 24 2013, 01:32PM
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OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION:Arcobello gets an apple.

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#4 dougtheslug
October 24 2013, 11:06PM
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Kevin Lowe knows something about winning. That's why the rebuild will feature Connor McDavid as it's centerpiece.

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#5 Mac962
October 24 2013, 01:12PM
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Well, i really hope Mr Yak decides to show up one of these days. He is now playing with elite linemates, there are no more excuses. Look at a less talented Sean Monahan playing with lesser linemates.

Looks like Glen X is not doing so well in Cowtown any longer and the flame faithful are fed up. Sure would be nice to have him back here. He is a quality bottom 6. Wont happen though.

Come on Oil- its time we won one Big. 5-2 Oil, Perron with a hatty. Something about him, awesome trade, he is talented , shifty, and does not give a crap and will be in your face. We need 2-3 more Perrons only slighty bigger.

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#6 I-HATE-BALLET
October 24 2013, 04:51PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

The proverbial night off for the Capitals tonight. They'll coast through two periods and only need to play 20 minutes and grab 2 pts (hoping for a little reverse psychology here)

Are we really referring to a guy with zero goals in 10 games an offensive force to be reckoned with?

Only in Edmonton...

Hey Dick , And where do you think we would be without his 10 assists ? Give your dumb a$$ head a shake. You are quick alright... quick to look like an idiot.

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#7 They're $hittie
October 24 2013, 01:07PM
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Wonder how Crosby would compare to the two if he were consistently healthy?

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#8 madjam
October 24 2013, 01:55PM
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Fire wagon hockey tonight with little defence and poor goaltending . 7-5 Oilers .

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#9 Walter Sobchak
October 25 2013, 12:00AM
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This team sucks!!!

I'm a huge Oiler fan, but I’m tired of watching the team get absolutely run into the ground night after night.

To make it worse the coaching staff is completely being out coached night after night!!

This team is run by clowns who are living in the 80’s and not one has any idea how to build a contender!! Why is MSM not running these clowns down!!

It starts at the top!!!

Howson fired for doing nothing in Columbus.

MacTavish – fired then re-hired???

Kevin Lowe – 7 years and counting and had the audacity to lump Oiler fans into two criteria, only to follow that up with an irrelevant I’ve won 6 rings! The ego on this man is baffling?

Somebody has to stop this madness!!!

This is who I would keep on the Oilers.

RNH – Hall – Eberle – Perron – Gordon The rest of this team needs to be washed!!

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#10 Rob...
October 25 2013, 08:02AM
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Harry wrote:

What about your golden boy down in Dallas? Your a complete retard

How can you get props for both calling someone a retard and misspelling You're in the same sentence?

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#11 Andrew
October 25 2013, 01:14AM
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Anyone else think it may be time to send Yak to AHL to learn how to check his man in the defensive faceoff circle.

And what the heck is this hang your head and slowly skating to the bench totally taking himself out of the play. That has suck bag prima donna written all over it.

E-freaking-nuf of this molly-codling b.s. What I want to know is where is all this coming from. I didn't see it coming based on his performance last year.

Time for some really tough love imo.

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#12 Brettish
October 24 2013, 01:25PM
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3rd player in 20 years? What about Hertl, rookie THIS year, and has 10 points in 9 games.

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#13 pkam
October 24 2013, 02:12PM
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Poor RNH, he got 9 pts in 9 games and 11 pts in 11 games but just missed the 10 pts in 10 games mark.

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#14 Time Travelling Sean
October 24 2013, 09:42PM
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BORRRRRIINNNNNNNNNNNG.

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#15 Zamboni Driver
October 24 2013, 09:51PM
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Men v. Boys.

Again.

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#16 BingBong
October 24 2013, 09:55PM
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I'm thinking Perron on the 1st with Ebs and Nuge? Yak's bringing down that line; play always dies with him.

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#17 MessyEH!
October 24 2013, 04:32PM
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It is starting to look like Marcobello is eating Gagner's lunch.

I wlll start work on a new statue.

It will be of Sea biscuit; with Marcobello and Pisani on his back!

Kevin Lowes face will reside where the horses ass should be!

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#18 spliff
October 24 2013, 09:34PM
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Why am I surprised. I really believed we would win this game, against a mid-level opponent at home. Oh, but I forgot, the Oil never win the first game home after a road trip. What was was thinking? So tired of this crap. Oilers need to string some wins together. Calgary loss today means we can close the gap, but its the same old sh*t and dance I've been watching, over and over again. So frustrating, why the hell do I bother. I think I need an exorcism to rid me of my Oiler fan spirit.

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#19 BingBong
October 24 2013, 10:09PM
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And Perron still the only guy willing to muck it up out there. Need WAY more of that.

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#20 dougtheslug
October 24 2013, 10:11PM
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Ouch! Yak, Eberle, RNH combine for -12 and 0 points. If Yak doesn't show up soon I'm thinking we have drafted our own Alexander Daigle.

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#21 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
October 24 2013, 03:35PM
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Arco is blowing my mind. I never would have pegged him to have the start he did. In fact, I think I even bemoaned the idea of him on the big club this off-season. Keep him as the 2C and see how far he can take it.

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#22 Harry
October 24 2013, 11:09PM
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DSF wrote:

None of the above.

Sean Monahan will win it going away.

What about your golden boy down in Dallas? Your a complete retard

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#23 lolhockey
October 24 2013, 11:58PM
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It's pretty bad when I'm watching the Nuge line and I'm thinking, 'Don't pass it to Yak! Don't pass it to Yak!' The play just dies with him. What the hell...

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#24 Bucknuck
October 24 2013, 03:28PM
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Jason Chimera is one of those players that I was pissed off when they traded him. Big fast and gritty... and of course they traded him. I guess they really needed those draft selections, and they already had a great third line: Reasoner, Pisani, and Moreau.

But damn... we could have used him the last 8 years.

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#25 Mac962
October 24 2013, 04:44PM
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MessyEH! wrote:

It is starting to look like Marcobello is eating Gagner's lunch.

I wlll start work on a new statue.

It will be of Sea biscuit; with Marcobello and Pisani on his back!

Kevin Lowes face will reside where the horses ass should be!

Just curious ,

When was the last time anyone in the PAYING PUBLIC heard from Mr Kevin Lowe ? You hiding Kevin ? a person in your position should at lest once in a while address the concerned fans instead of dining with the recluse owner of ours, Life good Kevin ? Great - i am happy for you, you are so over rated always were imo. Good thing for you our owner is pretty much Duh with the business of running a hockey team. Yes, he is great with drug stores. Hockey teams are just a notch in his belt.

Go retire Kevin , please.

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#26 madjam
October 24 2013, 06:04PM
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Can Marc "St.Louie" Arcobello beat out A.Belov for the Calder this year ? Stay tuned .

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#27 Zamboni Driver
October 24 2013, 10:03PM
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NUGENT HOPKINS IS A STAR?

The guy who fell over his skateboard when Backstrom put it in the net?

Good lord. I get that every team has this, but the ridiculous cheerleading on the part of the 'Sportsnet' (read: Oilers) employees is a joke.

Can't imagine them keeping Spec around much longer. He says...like...critical things. Geno never knows what the hell to do or say.

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#28 Gaz
October 24 2013, 11:15PM
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@DSF

Don't you think that's a little premature? I think he'll be a nice player - a 4-inch taller Sam Gagner - but I think the Flames are making a similar mistake to the one the Oilers made by keeping Gagner on a loser team, don't you?

And it is a little curious that you don't mention wunderkid in Dallas so much these days, you must admit.

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#29 bazmagoo
October 25 2013, 12:53AM
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Also, personally I think we need Justin Schultz on the bottom pairing for at least a season or two. Belov and Ference are going to have to take on 2nd pairing duties, with Smid and Petry as the 1st. Hope none of them get injured this season, or we are completely hooped.

Can anyone tell me what the hell happened to our powerplay? 3rd in the league in 2011-2012, 8th in the league 2012-2013, now 24th in the league. To me, this falls squarely on Eakins.

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#30 spliff
October 25 2013, 06:04AM
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Just re-read the news story from the Sun after the KLoser press conference when he insulted the fanbase and showed off his 6 rings.

The link is below and worth a read:

http://www.edmontonsun.com/2013/04/15/president-kevin-lowe-fails-to-provide-change-in-leadership-he-says-the-team-needs

Does he realize how much he is despised in this city?

When I read that article again, any hope I had for this franchise sunk. We truly are f*cked.

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#31 rubbertrout
October 24 2013, 01:52PM
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Brettish wrote:

3rd player in 20 years? What about Hertl, rookie THIS year, and has 10 points in 9 games.

4 of which came in one.

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#34 Craig1981
October 24 2013, 04:13PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I don't see why not. Can't move Gordon down. He is their best faceoff guy and defensive C...

Gagner can play wing for a few games and see how things work out.

A month ago we didn't have enough centers now we have too many.......Goes to show why drafting for need years down the road is never a good idea.

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#35 DSF
October 24 2013, 06:00PM
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@Next up, is Connor McJesus.

Speculation today that the Predators should trade Weber.

http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/53972-Should-Preds-trade-Shea-Weber-The-answer-may-surprise-you.html?

The Oilers should trade Hall, Marincin and the 2014 1st round pick and get this handled.

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#36 DSF
October 24 2013, 07:55PM
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Alsker wrote:

Really, did you pick a fLame jusrt to get xtra "trashes". Personally, considering they're all western teams I would have to guess its Hertl early on.

Monahan is the real deal.

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#37 Zamboni Driver
October 24 2013, 09:30PM
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@Rocket

Okay so I get being an Oiler fan.

But let's be really REALLY clear. This game has NOTHING to do with Ovechkin v. Yakupov.

One of those is a Hart trophy winner.

The other is a 20 year old boy.

The media asking Ovie about Yakupov today (heard on Gregor's show) should be embarrassed.

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#38 JJ
October 24 2013, 09:51PM
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Send Yak to OKC. He's been garbage. Give the youtube sensation his spot for the time being.

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#39 Todd
October 24 2013, 01:27PM
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They're $hittie wrote:

Wonder how Crosby would compare to the two if he were consistently healthy?

If you go on a goals per game basis over each entire career they come out at: OV = 0.61, Stamkos = 0.55, Crosby = 0.51

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#40 MessyEH!
October 24 2013, 02:25PM
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tileguy wrote:

OGDP - Eakins will play 1st line against 1st line, and in order to get Yak playing more defensively he will be told to shadow and shut down Ovi all game.

That would make Yak motivated. It would be eye opener for him. Ovi has really improved his defensive game. He would give Yak an education in what a seasoned vet performs like.

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#42 westcoastoil
October 24 2013, 03:41PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Even before his concussions he wasn't close to the goal scorer of Ovechkin. He's a better overall player, but he isn't as good of a goal scorer.

His best year was 2010/2011 when he had 32 goals in 41 games. If he kept that pace, which he never had at any other point of his career, he would have had 64.

Crosby is a better player, but not a better goal scorer.

One of the funniest moments of the Jets 1st season back in the 'Peg was against the Caps with the entire rink chanting "Crosby's better" when OV hit the ice. Classic

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#43 DSF
October 24 2013, 06:06PM
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madjam wrote:

Can Marc "St.Louie" Arcobello beat out A.Belov for the Calder this year ? Stay tuned .

None of the above.

Sean Monahan will win it going away.

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#44 srbuhr
October 24 2013, 09:34PM
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Ouch - yak is really hurting the first line. Until he starts moving his feet he really needs to sit.

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#45 BingBong
October 24 2013, 09:48PM
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I thought we looked great in the 1st. Since then? Meh. Another no-show for the pp.

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#46 FireKLowe
October 24 2013, 10:11PM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

NUGENT HOPKINS IS A STAR?

The guy who fell over his skateboard when Backstrom put it in the net?

Good lord. I get that every team has this, but the ridiculous cheerleading on the part of the 'Sportsnet' (read: Oilers) employees is a joke.

Can't imagine them keeping Spec around much longer. He says...like...critical things. Geno never knows what the hell to do or say.

Also have you noticed Sportsnet never ever puts the camera on MacT or Lowe to capture their reactions after the Oilers get scored on like TSN or CBC do? You know who's wagging whose tail ...

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#47 cubsfan
October 24 2013, 10:24PM
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As Bill Parcells once said, 'you are what your record says you are'...losing hope.....and i'm a Cubs fan

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#48 Todd
October 25 2013, 09:45AM
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NsxZero wrote:

That's what me and my friends were saying at the game yesterday. We sure chose a bad time to suck. Imagine if we had an Ovechkin over any of our first overalls.

Many people need to relax.....

Hall was top 10 NHL scoring and if not for eastern media bias would have been 1st line all star LW. (aka the best LW in the entire league).

I'd say that's a pretty big home run on a first overall pick unless your expecation is generation talent or bust. OV was a dog last year, the caps trying to figure out how they could get rid of his 10 mil X 100 year contract. Suddenly he is the example of what we don't have??? Talk about knee jerk.

Henrik Sedins first 5 NHL seasons: 29pts, 36pts, 39pts, 42pts, 75pts FIVE SEASONS before he even matched Gagner's rookie numbers. Imagine how much Oiler fans would have crucified him. Crappy Sedin. Worst pick ever!!

Deep breath. I get it. This season sucks, and it probably hurts more than any other year of this slugging rebuidl. But trading away 1st overall picks or blockbuster panic trades are how you get on the 2018 "Worst Trades of All Time" list. Like almost everyone else here, I think Lowe is an incompetent bumbling fool. But he isn't going anywhere, so for the love, quit b1tching about him.... So therefore I accept and look at the alternative. I think MacT is a very competent GM. Give him time. Perron, Gordon, Belov all seem like solid moves. He has been trying his hardest to upgrade net... Give it time. I am very happy MacT is on board and am glad he is running the ship not the commenting folks on OilersNation.

Panic and rebuilding the rebuild via desperate mega deals is how the Islanders stayed in rebuild for 15 years.

For example:

*After Luongo's first season New York Islanders trade Roberto Luongo and Olli Jokinen to the Florida Panthers for Mark Parrish and Oleg Kvasha. *After Chara's second season New York Islanders trade Zdeno Chara, Bill Muckalt and first-round pick in 2001 Draft (Jason Spezza) to the Ottawa Senators for Alexei Yashin. (Nov. 9, 2001)

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#49 **
October 24 2013, 02:02PM
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Perron and Ovechkin will fight.

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#50 pkam
October 24 2013, 02:21PM
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Alsker wrote:

Well at least this would mean we dont get shut out...unless your referring to one of QSBs!! (Apple a day keeps anyone away, depending on how hard you throw it..lol)

Does QSBs even need an apple to keep everyone away?

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